I almost lost Halloween, or, How AMC saved my Halloween…again

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Here we are, just days away from my favorite holiday and I’ve barely even noticed that Halloween is upon us. Life has gotten in the way this year. There has been no time for my nightly veg sessions in front of AMC’s fear fest; no time for the myriad of horror countdowns on the Chiller channel. My wife and I were in the process of house hunting. Now we’re in the process of closing. There’s new software at work for me to deal with. There’s also blah blah blah.

Enough already. You have to make time for the things you love, right? And so, when Rec 2 (2009) landed in my mailbox (Courtesy of Qwi-I mean, Netflix) yesterday I resolved to finally take some time out for the subgenre that had started my Halloween obsession all those years ago: zombie films.

"You think you can name me Gage and just GET AWAY WITH IT?!"

I immediately pulled up the Fear Fest schedule this year and, aside from finding it to be very Halloween (1978) heavy this year (Including Halloween H20 (1998), but suspiciously excluding Halloween: Resurrection (2002), starring Sir Busta Rhymes), I found it to be just as solid as usual. Night of the Living Dead (1967) had already aired, but given the fact that I have three different versions of it on DVD, I wasn’t sweating that too much. I still had Slither (2006) and Pet Semetary (1989) to look forward to. Yes, I realize that Pet Semetary isn’t what one traditionally thinks of as a zombie film, but tell that to the undead kid with the scalpel who wants to play with you.

Wanna join the mile die club?

Romero’s Diary of the Dead (2007) and Survival of the Dead (2009) were in there as well, but I immediately disregarded them as sad signs of a once great talent now merely going through the motions. Not to mention highlighting his complete lack of understanding with regards to current technology. Seriously, George, a small clan of Irishmen living on a tiny island (not in Ireland, mind you) decide to create a web video to lure people to them? Really? Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane (2007), not a Romero film, also snuck its way into the lineup, continuing the time-honored “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, just put it on a plane” formula.

And so, armed with Slither, Pet Semetary, Rec 2, and a darkened living room I attempt to recapture my Halloween spirit. Oh, and what’s that Netlfix? You now have the entire first season of AMC’s The Walking Dead streaming? Nicely done. The good news is: I think I’m already good for next year. Having just had a home inspection on our potential new property I noticed that the current residents had a huge bowl of candy on their kitchen counter, just waiting.

Kevin Mattison is co-editor of The Idler, as well as being an occassional film review contributor for Real Detroit Weekly, a filmmaker and videographer. You can follow him on Twitter at @kmmattison.

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